5 Interesting Methods for Hiring Highly Skilled Candidates

By Tony Restell

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It's a fascinating time to be in the recruiting world right now. With each passing month, you see market commentaries starting to look more and more like they did before the Lehman crash. The focus is increasingly on the difficulties that employers are expecting to face in attracting the staff they need... and the fact that this is becoming a candidate-driven market once again.

So I was intrigued to receive this guest contribution from Josh Tolan, CEO of Spark Hire, suggesting 5 methods you could experiment with to attract top talent into your business. Hope it proves a helpful read.

5 Interesting Methods for Hiring Highly Skilled Candidates
5 Interesting Methods for Hiring Highly Skilled Candidates

With a growing skills gap, employers and recruiters are finding it more difficult to attract the top talent companies need. This is especially prevalent in tech and STEM related disciplines. While unemployed candidates outnumber positions 3.6 to one in most industries, STEM positions actually outnumber candidates 1.9 to one.

A 2014 survey from Brilliant, in conjunction with Dr. Richard Curtin, Professor and Director of Surveys at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, found 65 percent of companies had unfilled positions in accounting, finance, and IT.

It’s time to get creative in order to bridge the skills gap. Here are five interesting methods to build a bridge in order to lead the top talent into your company:


Skills Assessments

The economic outlook for many companies is growing brighter, with the Brilliant survey finding 43 percent of companies surveyed saw improvement on the horizon. Still, in a tough economic climate, you can’t really afford to hire someone who doesn’t have all the skills required. After all, some companies have pegged the cost of a bad hire at as much as $50,000. You need to make sure your candidate has the right stuff right off the bat.

Utilizing skills assessments can allow you to get a better feel for your candidate’s concrete abilities. If a candidate will have to do a high volume of writing, ask them to complete a writing test. Ask for web designers to write code and for graphic designers to show you their design skills. Know before you go through the hiring process whether your candidate can hit the ground running.


Social Media

Social media is gaining steam for both job seekers and recruiters. According to the Pew Center for Research, 74 percent of online adults have at least one social networking profile now. You can use social media to get a better feel for a candidate’s personal brand and level of professionalism. If you see something wildly inappropriate on social media, your company might have just dodged a public relations disaster waiting to happen.


Video Interviewing

In today’s ultra-competitive landscape, connecting personally in the hiring process has become a must. Video interviews, particularly one-way video interviews, allow you to connect quickly with candidates without wasting much of your precious time.

Candidates answer your questions in short videos, which you can watch for any duration. If you know the candidate is all wrong for the job, you can easily move on to someone more qualified before the end of the interview. Plus, video interviewing allows you to lower barriers and cross borders, finding the best talent wherever they live without ponying up money for plane tickets.


Temporary Talent

According to the American Staffing Association, more than 11 million people are employed in temporary labor per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found temporary jobs edged up 216,000 jobs so far in 2014. Temporary labor is becoming more popular as employers find it harder and harder to find employees with the skills needed for the job.

If you use temporary talent, you can approach candidates from a “try before you buy” position. If the candidate turns out to be great, you can easily transition this person into a full-time employee. If the candidate falls down on the job, however, you can sever ties without all the stresses and strains of firing a permanent hire.


Evaluating Soft Skills

Soft skills are gaining in importance, as communication, collaboration, and outside interaction become more important parts of almost every industry. According to a study by Millennial Branding, 98 percent of employers are looking for candidates with top-notch communication skills.

Candidates with great soft skills also show the ability to grow and learn in their positions because they have the ability to listen. Being able to work together closely with coworkers and management can jump the skills gap, since these candidates are willing and able to learn new skills to add to their repertoire.

When you consider 46 percent of small business new hires fail within 18 months, and in 89 percent of the cases it’s due to company culture mismatch, you can see how important soft skills are when it comes to saving your bottom line. A good communicator with a positive attitude and ability to learn might actually be a better bet than an uninspired candidate with a perfect skill set.

Jumping the skills gap isn’t easy, which means you might need to step outside the box in order to attract and hire the people you need. By looking at some new ways to hire, you can find the top quality employees your company needs to succeed.

What do you think? What are you doing to jump the skills gap? Share in the comments!

 

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video interview solution used by more than 2,000 companies across the globe. Learn more about using video interviewing for cultural hiring and connect with Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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